Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
  • Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
  • Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

4.0 8
by Winifred Gallagher
     
 

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"In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the radical and compelling argument that much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains - or on what happens to happen to you - but on what you choose to pay attention to. Your world, and even your self, is largely constructed from the thoughts and feelings,

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Overview

"In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the radical and compelling argument that much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains - or on what happens to happen to you - but on what you choose to pay attention to. Your world, and even your self, is largely constructed from the thoughts and feelings, people and things you've focused on throughout your life. Much more than you probably suspect, you can, as you move forward, actively direct your attention to create the kind of experience you want and become the person you want to be." "Drawing from the latest neuroscience and psychology, Rapt looks beyond the sound bites about multitasking, ADHD, and our distracting electronics to illuminate attention's essential function: transforming the vast, chaotic world into your own orderly, user-friendly personal version. Your brain's selective gatekeeper, it's involved in virtually every aspect of life - learning and memory, thought and emotion, work and relationships. As the expression "paying attention" suggests, you have a limited store of this cognitive currency, which you should invest wisely, because the stakes are high. On the deepest level, what you focus on can literally change your brain, and thus your behavior. On the experiential level, taking charge of your attention is the key to personal power and freedom - and the hallmark of the successful and satisfied." "Rapt introduces a diverse cast of characters, from researchers to artists and ranchers, to illustrate the art and science of living the interested life. As their stories show, by focusing on the most positive or productive elements in almost any situation,you can shape your inner experience and literally expand your world - a revelation that's especially meaningful during times of great change, whether personal or cultural. In periods of uncertainty and turmoil, not just individuals but also the larger society must make wise choices about what to focus on, and sustain that attention despite distractions." Along with organizing your internal and external worlds, attention opens the doors to the sublime experience best described as "rapt." By cultivating this ability to be completely engrossed-whether by rolling waves or a soaring aria, by rearranging your furniture or writing a poem - you improve your capacity for concentration, broaden your inner horizons, lift your spirits, and most important, feel what it means to be fully alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Paul Bloom
Gallagher devotes much of this engaging book to reviewing the psychology and neuroscience of attention. A journalist and the author of several books about human psychology…Gallagher blends the science nicely with examples of people whose disciplined attention has contributed to their success
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Gallagher (The Power of Place, Working on God) couples personal ruminations and interviews with experts to explore the role of attention in defining consciousness, identity and the human experience: "who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love-is the sum of what you focus on." From paying attention to your inner dialogue (helping eliminate negative thought patterns) to bucking the myths of multi-tasking (says cognitive scientist David Meyer, "Einstein didn't invent the theory of relativity while multi-tasking at the Swiss patent office"), Gallagher draws practical conclusions from her examination of conscious ("top-down") and unconscious ("bottom-up") attention strategies. Though her claims to "a psychological version of... physicist's 'grand universal theory'" are a bit outsized, Gallagher takes illuminating forays into the evolution of the species and the global diaspora, looking for instance at how "Western individualism" emphasizes top-down focus while the Asian mentality encourages a broader, contextual perspective. A fascinating psycho-social look at human motivation and the power of focus, Gallagher's latest is worth paying attention to.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594202100
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/16/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 6.44(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Winifred Gallagher’s books include House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), Working on God, and The Power of Place. She has written for numerous publications, such as Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She lives in Manhattan, and Dubois, Wyoming.

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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
thoughtjuggler More than 1 year ago
Rapt is an excellent and unique look at a subject that while not ignored has, in my reading, never before been as well or as productively explored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aww you included me how touching lol jk it was great im glad my roleplay idea has been inspirering and hope to keep it tat way besides im still beta wink wink
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pebble and her pack were storming almong the plains+ chasing a clumsy hare. They l had snapping jaws, and the Alpha Streak was at the head as usual. Pressing fowards she passed Streak and was the one to pounce on the hair, feeling her smoothe claws dig into the flesh. She then pucked it up, and gave it to Streak. He stared at her smiling. Finally he chirruped,"My Alphess is Pebble." <p> Pebble stared at him in disbelief. "M-me?" <p> "Yeah, her?!" Came a voice towards the front. There. There stood Sharpness. Shapness was her arch enemy. <p> "Yes, her. Sh has proven her skills and beauty," stated Streak firmly. <p> "Despair, Pebble's broter and only sibling ran up to her, and nuzzled her. Despair chirped,"Congratulation, Alphess." He joked lightly <p> "Ha-ha, very funny," replied Pebble. <p> . <p> . <p> . <p> 2 Months Later <p> . <p> . <p> . <p> There. There was her egg. It was smoothe and polished. A beautiful egg. Pebble and Streak, both watched as cracks splintered down the egg. A tiny snout appeared, nd finally the baby raptor was standing in the feather nest. <p> "She's beautiful. Pebble, she has your snout!" Exclaimed Streak. <p> "And she has your eyes," replied Pebble. <p> "Let's call her Star," Chirped Streak. <p> "A beautiful name for a beautiful raptor," Agreed Pebble. <p> &infin<_>&Delta<_>mber<_>&omega<_>ind
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